TCA: Fallon Names First 'Tonight Show' Guests

Will Smith, U2 to join him on stage when series bows Feb. 17
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Jimmy Fallon announced that Will Smith and U2 will be his first guests on The Tonight Show when he takes over as host on Feb. 17.

Fallon revealed the lineup Sunday during a panel for the show at NBC's portion of the TCA winter press tour.

Seth Meyers will takeover the hosting duties on Fallon's previous show, Late Night. Meyers fielded questions during a panel directly following Fallon's, where the funny man announced that Amy Poehler, Meyers former Weekend Update coanchor on Saturday Night Live, will be his first guest on Feb. 24. “She’s pretty much like my wife now,” Meyers said.

Other highlights from the panels included:

--Fallon said that he called Jay Leno shortly after Leno returned to The Tonight Show in 2010 to say, “I just want to let you now, I’m not gunning for your job,” and “eventually, when you decide to step down, let’s do it the right way.” He added that he and Leno talk on the phone once every two weeks or so.

--Fallon dismissed a question about how he will differentiate his show from ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! calling media attempts to establish a rivalry between the two hosts “fan fiction.”

--The decision to use the word “starring” in the show’s title (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as opposed to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno), came, Fallon said, from looking at old logos for the show. “It was always The Tonight Show Starring Jack Parr, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” He added, “It’s an homage, a little tip of the cap a little bit to the origins of the show.”

--Fallon said he called New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to give him a heads up that the comic and Bruce Springsteen were poking fun at the politician — a former guest on the show — via a parody rendition of Springsteen’s “Jungleland.” "I just let Chris Christie know that we were going to do it, and I let him know the silver lining—Bruce Springsteen says your name," Fallon said, adding, "I haven’t heard back yet."

--Meyers said he expects to carry over some elements from Weekend Update that played to his strengths. “I’ve hired a lot of writers who are also performers,” he said. “I like on Weekend Update interviewing people who are fictional. I’d like to continue that.”

--Late Night will include sketches, Meyers said, but “will probably lend itself less to taped pieces” than Fallon’s show has. “I am one of the few cast members at SNL who was able to parlay his acting skills into being a writer,” he joked.

--Meyers admitted that he is less of a music enthusiast than Fallon is, but recognizes the show’s historic role in breaking new musical acts. He also said that he plans to have a house band but that no hires have been made yet.

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